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Bigger. Better. Bolder.

Even before it acquired Vector Aerospace in November 2017, StandardAero was a powerhouse in the world of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). It was, and still is, a remarkably versatile and capable company with the trust of operators all over the world.

The acquisition was a major step forward, however, making StandardAero the world’s largest independent MRO provider without sacrificing the relentless perfectionism and remarkable service quality that helped it get here.

“Today, we are bigger, better and bolder,” said Russell Ford, StandardAero’s chief executive officer. “We have bigger capacity, global coverage and product support capabilities. Our growth yields better customer service, engineering expertise, and turn times. As one company, we are now a bolder leader within the industry, squarely focused on creating value-added solutions for our customers.”

There’s no ambiguity here: the new StandardAero is good news for helicopter operators large and small, no matter where they fly. With the resources inherited from Vector Aerospace at its disposal, this new ‘mega-MRO’ is better able to support its customers with engine, airframe and component capabilities for a vast number of rotorcraft makes and models.

More of everything

The new StandardAero has substantially expanded its portfolio of helicopter airframe, component and turboshaft engine services.

In the area of airframes and component services, the new StandardAero has partnerships with major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Airbus Helicopters, Boeing and Sikorsky.

“As trusted partners, the new StandardAero provides comprehensive support for global customers operating a wide range of platforms that include the popular Airbus AS350 and EC130 platforms and the Sikorsky S-76,” said Ford.

The new StandardAero’s helicopter OEM certifications include:

  • Airbus Helicopters Maintenance Center designation (AS350/H125, EC130/H130, AS355, EC135/H135, AS332/H215 and EC225/H225);
  • Airbus Helicopters Repair Center designation (AS350/H125, EC130/H130 and AS355);
  • Airbus Helicopters Service Center designation (AS350/H125, EC130/H130, AS355, Bo 105, EC135, BK117 and EC145);
  • Sikorsky Authorized Overhaul and Repair Center designation (S-76 and S-61); and
  • Sikorsky Authorized Customer Support Center (CSC) designation (S-76).

In addition, StandardAero’s Fleetlands facility in Gosport, United Kingdom, supports Boeing and its end customer, the U.K. Ministry of Defence, as a subcontractor on the 34-year Chinook ‘Through Life Customer Support’ (TLCS) contract, providing airframe, avionics and component support for the heavy-lift helicopter.

The Gosport facility also provides base maintenance for the Sikorsky S-92 medium twin, and full support for the S-76 as an authorized CSC.

On the turboshaft engine side of the equation, the new StandardAero has significantly expanded its MRO capabilities. In addition to the Rolls-Royce M250 and RR300, it can now support additional civil and military rotary-wing engines such as the GE Aviation T700/CT7, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T, and Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 1 and 2.

The new StandardAero’s engine OEM certifications include:

  • GE Aviation Authorized Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Provider (AMROP) designation (T700);
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility (DDOF) designation (PT6T);
  • Rolls-Royce Authorized Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center (AMROC) designation (M250 and RR300); and
  • Safran Helicopter Engines Level 4 (full repair and overhaul) Repair Center designation (Arriel 1 and 2).

“These capabilities, backed by our certified technicians, allow us to provide engine support for several Bell Helicopter models that range from the popular 206 series and its military variants, the TH-57, TH-67 and OH-58, all the way up to 407 and the powerful 212 and 412 platforms,” said Ford.

In addition to these capabilities, the new StandardAero offers expanded research and development expertise that includes the development, production and installation of aftermarket supplemental type certificate (STC) products. These cover items such as avionics, enhanced safety equipment, and mission-specific technology.

Results to date

In the short time since StandardAero acquired Vector Aerospace, the new StandardAero has scored three major successes.

In November 2017, StandardAero further expanded its global presence by entering into an exclusive teaming agreement with GDC Middle East and Horizon Shield Corporation.

Under the deal, the new StandardAero will provide MRO services, engineering support and design services for military aircraft operators in Saudi Arabia, including the Royal Saudi Navy, the Royal Saudi Air Force and Royal Saudi Land Forces.

A month later, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the StandardAero/Robertson Fuel Systems crash-resistant fuel tank (CRFT) solution for use on the Airbus Helicopters AS350/H130 platform, now available to customers as a retrofittable upgrade.

Launch customer Air Methods Corporation has already begun retrofitting its expansive fleet of AS350 aircraft with this mission-critical safety equipment, as have other North American operators.

At the same time, the new StandardAero was awarded a $5 million, multi-year contract with the Italian Ministry of Defense to support Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T engines powering Agusta-Bell 412 and 212 helicopters.

“This, in conjunction with several other successful contract awards in 2017, signifies our commitment to expanding support capabilities for our European customers,” said Ford.

“The broad scope of our MRO support capabilities is already evident,” he added. “But now that the new StandardAero has become the world’s leading aviation MRO company, we will expand our capabilities further as we strive to provide full-service, first-class support to our customers.”

Heli Tech Insight Magazine 2018

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